We all have these unexpected projects. This week I was given a surveillance DVR that had seen better days. The primary hard disk had spun a bearing (hehe). It was a system I built a number of years ago for my family. Previously I used the software that came with the capture card, a generic 4 channel bt878 card. The software ran on Windows XP so from the start I never really expected anything long lasting although it did last about 5 years.
Anyways, enough about what it was. I dug up a 4Gb USB flash drive, installed a very basic CenOS 6 install, got x264, FFmpeg, ZoneMinder, MySQL, PHP and Apache and made it a reliable surveillance server now. It does have a 1Tb drive for the video.
I have to say the ZoneMinder software is not anything fancy by first appearance but supports all the features that most expensive commercial solutions offer. I like that it did not require me to install any GUI environment on the device itself. No resources wasted on this build.
[root@cam ~]# uptime
11:09:56 up 1 day, 23:04, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.18, 0.22
[root@cam ~]# ps ax | grep zm[ac]
12795 ? S 0:04 /usr/bin/perl -wT /usr/local/bin/zmaudit.pl -c
12931 ? S 46:47 /usr/local/bin/zmc -d /dev/video0
16011 ? S 131:08 /usr/local/bin/zma -m 5
16192 ? S 35:39 /usr/local/bin/zmc -d /dev/video1
16204 ? S 126:37 /usr/local/bin/zma -m 6
16231 ? S 35:32 /usr/local/bin/zmc -d /dev/video2
16243 ? S 120:07 /usr/local/bin/zma -m 7
16309 ? S 34:22 /usr/local/bin/zmc -d /dev/video3
16321 ? S 128:12 /usr/local/bin/zma -m 8
Not bad for an old Pentium E5200 with 2Gb.